Why is there a horse hitching post in downtown Farmville?

Published 8:00 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

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FARMVILLE – If you walk behind Walker’s Diner, a new addition to the landscape might catch your eye. Downtown Farmville now has a horse-hitching post. The question is how did it get there?

The process started several weeks ago with a simple Facebook post. Tracy McIntyre has lived in Farmville for the past 10 years and enjoys riding her horse on the High Bridge Trail with her riding group, the Vintage Vaqueras. During their ride, they decided to stop and get something to eat at Walker’s Diner on North Main Street. Since there wasn’t a horse-hitching post, they tied their horses to a nearby tree. 

While they ate, Nancy Alexander, executive director of the Farmville Downtown Partnership, snapped a picture of the horses for the organization’s Facebook page, highlighting downtown. Seeing horses downtown was something fun to feature, she said. The picture received more engagement than she expected as it caught one of the horses eating the bark off of the tree, which is bad for the horse and the tree. Fortunately, both are doing fine after the incident. 

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This post sparked a collaboration between the Farmville Downtown Partnership, the Vintage Vaqueras and the High Bridge State Park staff. 

“This was a chance for the Farmville Downtown Partnership to end up bringing groups together to make something positive,” said Alexander. 

Putting a post in downtown Farmville 

Seeing the Facebook post, McIntyre reached out to Alexander about what they could do to get a post put in to avoid something like this happening again. Both met with the High Bridge Trail Park Manager Daniel Jordan who asked what McIntyre could contribute to put in this post. 

McIntyre was hesitant to donate towards a new post as there used to be a post there but was removed years ago. She believes that was due to a health code violation as Walker’s used to use the building in the back for cooking. For this horse-hitching post, they went through all the right avenues and it was approved. Leslie Keck, one of the Vintage Vaqueras, helped in the process as her husband, Alan, is a blacksmith and created the metalwork for the post.

“I’m happy to have a new place for riders to stop,” said McIntyre. “There are not many horse riders on the trail because you have to have a well-broken horse, but we really enjoy it and are happy to donate the post and put it in.”